Update: Oct 2009 SF Bay OilSpill + Donate Your Nylons!

2009 SF Oil Spill from the Dubai Star

In response to the  recent Dubai Star oil spill in San Francisco Bay this past Friday, October 30, 2009 , we are reactivating this Zuna Surf OilSpill Blog.  

Working in conjunction with the Kill the Spill (KTS) crew and Surfrider Foundation San Francisco, both of whom mobilized the  2007 Cosco Busan clean-up, we’re putting the word out that response plans and cleanups are in the works, should the oil reach our shores, especially Ocean Beach.   Both groups are already in touch with the EPA and are working with several Google employees who are tracking the spill through Google Earth & mapping applications.

Thus far, sources are saying that the Dubai Spill is likely larger than announced in the press. It’s unclear when the oil will reach our area shorelines.  There is a fishing ban already in place and SF City officials have also warned citizens from swimming in the Bay and t0 stay away from our beaches.

Help! Donate Your Old NYLONS & STOCKINGS This Week (Oct 31 – Nov 8)!

matter of trust boomsSpread the word! We need  *NYLONS & STOCKINGS* donated ASAP for the oil boom to sop up and contain the oil.  Per KTS and Surfrider SF,  the non-profit, Matter of Trust, and volunteer teams are stuffing numerous hair booms this weekend.  Please send them in clean or washed. It’s ok if the stockings have runs in them, as according to Matter of Trust’s Lisa Gautier, they will double them up.  Please send to your nylons this week through November 8, 2009  to:

Matter of  Trust
99 St. Germain Avenue  (at Glenbrook Ave, in Twin Peaks) | map
San Francisco CA 94114.  Tel: 415 242-6041

[NOTE:  please do *NOT* donate hair – Matter of Trust  has 18,000 lbs of hair on hand – they just need nylons and stockings to put the hair inside.   Also, they are desperately seeking temporary, donated warehouse space in San Francisco, CA. If you know of any please email Lisa Gautier at  lisa@matteroftrust.org]

Stay tuned here for more updates and announcements of possible clean-ups. 

If  you spot any oiled wildlife, please contact Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1.877.UCD.OWCN (1-877-823-6926). Up-to-date info about their current response to this spill can be found here.


Dec 5 & 12: Kill the Spill Volunteer Appreciation Nights


Head out Wednesday, December 5th,  for Kill the Spill Volunteer Appreciation Night, in conjunction with Zuna Surf’s triple-header Surf Movie Night and Holiday Madness Bash at Sports Basement – Potrero Hill.

Kick off the winter waveseason right, get your holiday shopping done early, and enter to win a 6’2″shortboard from shaper Bob Miller of Bluecoil!    Enjoy beer by 21st Amendment, live music by the Hiwatters, and light food.


* “The Lost Wave: An African Surf Story.”  

* “Carving,” on local shaper Danny Hess. 

* “Inaugural Hobgood Challenge”


Wed Dec 5, 2007 | 6pm-10pm

Sports Basement – Potrero Hill, 1590 Bryant at 15th, San Francisco

MORE INFO & RSVP: <a href=www.zunasurf.com/holiday07

Party #2:

Save the date!
Wednesday night, December 12th, 8:00pm-12:00am
“Save The Waves Kill The Spill Volunteer Appreciation Night mini fundraiser,” benefiting oil spill cleanup & awareness. 

Cruise into the Riptide Cocktails (Taraval @ 47th), San Francisco for Surf Movies, DJ’s and vegetarian Middle

Eastern food. 

Tue 11.26.07 | Report Sick or Oiled Birds

Here’s another way to contact the bird groups for any bird rescue matters below via email to to the International Bird Research & Rescue Center.  Some folks have reported seeing dead birds last week south of Half Moon Bay, as some sick/injured birds in Santa Cruz.


Thu | Day 16 – Thanksgiving Cleanups, KTS Volunteer Appreciation Night, 12/5

See next article below for the Thanksgiving Day’s  CleanUp at Ocean Beach, and Friday’s rally at Bolinas, or go here.


Wed | Day 15 – Join Us for Thanksgiving CleanUp, Ocean Beach + Bolinas

Per KTS, Matter of Trust, and the SF Dept of Emergency Management:

Volunteer Beach Clean-up Thanksgiving Day

National Park Service Officials anticipate that the high tide on the morning of November 22nd, Thanksgiving Day, may deposit small tar balls and minor amounts of oil at Ocean Beach.

Therefore, the City and County of San Francisco, together with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service, will coordinate a volunteer beach clean-up to sweep the area for newly deposited oil spill debris. This opportunity is only open to volunteers who have attended training and received a Cosco Busan Disaster Service Worker Identification Card.

Date:   Thursday, November 22nd
Time:   10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Locations:  Report to either of the two locations listed below (Fire Trucks will mark the staging areas):

            1.    Lincoln Way and Ocean Beach Parking Area

            2.    Sloat Blvd and Ocean Beach Parking Area

Details:    Only volunteers with a Cosco Busan Disaster Service Worker Identification Card will be permitted to participate in this beach clean-up activity. Since the amount of debris is likely to be minor, there are no plans to close the beach or to deploy volunteers in full personal protective gear. Volunteers will be provided with the amount of protective equipment necessary in relation to the amount of debris.  Volunteers will be provided with gloves, booties, scoops, hair mats and buckets. Lunch will not be provided at this deployment.

If there is a need for additional volunteer deployment in the coming weeks, information will be posted here  and on the 311 website, www.sfgov.org/311.  Please check back regularly for the most up to date information or call 3-1-1.



As posted by Natalie Pepper:  “Meet at the Wharf end of Bolinas Beach at 1:00. For info call,  415.302.7712 “

Tue | Day 14 – Future Clean-Ups & Reminder Tips

prep.jpgPer KTS this morning:

“With the Volunteers trained and oil still washing up on our beaches, we know people are frustrated with the official volunteer efforts coming to an end, prematurely.  Stay tuned for additional clean-ups to be organized, timed with the tides.  Please continue to help us get feedback on the state of the beaches, on site, photos, stories.”



Courtesy of Lynn Stone.  Feel free to forward.

  • Picking up Globules: This outline is intended as a refresher for those who have taken the HazMat course. If you have not taken the 4 hour course and you want to pick up oil anyway, the ‘authorities‘ are saying you can’t do that on your own familiar beaches that you love and enjoy. Many people are picking up oil without the training. They could be exposing themselves to toxins.

  • Currently, the officials are are no longer recruiting volunteers anyway. The beaches will have oil washing up on them for a while still. Things may be different in Marin, which was hard hit. Please follow these HazMat guidelines for safety reasons, both for yourself and others. Thank you!

  • Tyvek suits are available at many hardwear stores, as are good nitrile gloves, bags, and good old duct tape! Get a strong garbage bag and whatever tools you want. A kitty litter scoop might work, or some kind of strainer type kitchen tool. Some areas of beach will have big globs, some will be very small. You might want knee pads if you think they would help. What you do with the oil you pick up will depend on where you are. Please do not just put it in the garbage. Call available phone #’s at the top of the page for safe pick up in SF, or inquire locally.

  • General spill and oil info:
    There are spills in the bay every day.The oil was diesel also, so it spread a lot and was hard to boom. The oil is now a slight hazard to clean up crews. It is not a reactive chemical. Good compatibility with the tyvek suits and protective gear.EXPOSURE. Short term exposure is called acute exposure; long term exposure is called chronic.Much of the cancer causing chemicals have evaporated. Fresh oil evaporates toxics, Benzene, toulene, xylene. In low lying areas don’t smoke, as there could be a suffocation risk. The oil is no longer fresh, and fumes should not accumulate. Still, be aware.Rotten oil smell is hydrogen sulfide.This stuff is globtastic, there are up to 6 ft globs.
    Oil is going to a hazardous waste landfill. Type of fuel in spill is IFO-380. Intermediate Fuel Oil- 380 MSDS sheets available for download. Google it
  • This process is going to take a long time, Every wave has thousands of globules. The external surface of the globs has weathered and will not spread and rejoin other globs if they touch.
  • It is only moderately combustable. Extinguish with dry chemical. Fumes could gather in low areas. Don’t smoke; if you eat it don’t induce vomiting as aspiration can cause chemical pneumonia.
  • How toxic is the stuff? If you keep it off your body and don’t eat it, it is not that toxic. Don’t get it on your skin.
  • Health Risks:


Length of exposure and concentration determine risk. The oil contains irritants and carcinogens.

Crude oil likes fats, it likes your skin, it wants to stick on to your skin and soak into it.
Wear a respirator if you think you are sensitive to the fumes.

There are some biological threats in the coastal environments, specifically viral and biological bacteria that can infect cuts. Stay away from sharps (needles).Toxic effects can vary based on gender, age, susceptibilities, health and
routes of exposure- absorption is the #1 way here. You could have toxic effects from inhalation, ingestion, and injection. Don’t do those things.
 Influences on sensitivity: Condition of skin. Duration of exposure. Watch out when you eat, drink or smoke, or better yet: Don’t.
You will smell sulfur. Don’t worry about that, just don’t get the stuff on you.

OSHA allows 5mg/m (then there is a little three up above the last m) every 8 hours of exposure to the petroleum distillated present in the oil. So no problem.

If you eat it (don’t!) you could have nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
If you get it in your eyes, flush for 15 minutes with fresh water.
A skin rash would appear in reaction to the oil sooner rather than later.
If you sweat in gear stay hydrated. You can wear shorts. Suit will keep oily debris off skin.

  • Dealing with the Suit:
  • Get nitrile gloves (not latex gloves).
    You might feel like a dork in the tyvek suit, but it will keep microglobuals of oil off your clothes and hence your skin. Watch out if the suit gets wet as it will weaken and is more likely to tear. Think about tying back long hair and possibly covering it.Jewelry will rip gear sometimes. You might trip on the booties. If you are not working with an official clean-up crew, as these notes were intended for, and you can not get proper booties, you could use bags and duct tape, or designate a pair of old boots for oil cleanup use ONLY. Tape suit over tops of boots. Pay attention to how long you are in the suit. Rest. Take breaks. If you need to take off suit to pee and drink be prepared to do that. You will ruin the suit removing it, so have another ready to put on. Technically you shouldn’t eat or drink in suit. You will need help to get suit on and off. Double glove. Tape front zipper. Sleeves of suit go over gloves and booties. You might have to cut it off. Get help.


  • Questions for the US Coast Guard should be directed to their public information office at (510) 437-3325. 
  • To report oil on the beach or in the water, please call (415) 398-9617.
  • For pickup and disposal of oily waste, please call (415) 398-9617.
  • To report oiled wildlife on the beach or in the water, please call (415) 701-2311.
  • To file a claim for oiled property, please call (886) 442-9650.
  • Public Information Hotline and Media Inquiries, please call (415) 398-9621.

Tue | Day 14 – Thank You, Marin Update


We’ve added a THANK YOU page to all the wonderful donors and key supporters of the grassroots cleanup.  See the tab at the top of the page.  We’re updating it as we go along, so let us know whom we’ve missed.

Per Natalie Pepper this morning:

“Most of the oil on the sand has been cleaned at Bolinas and RCA beaches, but there is still plenty of oil on the reefs and rocks.  I was told that the professional clean up crews are responsible for cleaning rocks, but I have serious doubts that they will do it or even be able to hike down to some of the spots.  More oil spotted washing up over the weekend churned up by the swell.  No word when the water will be safe to go into, but plenty of people in the water over the weekend up here.  I’m waiting for the official OK before heading into the water …”